Quality Assessment of Randomized Clinical Trials Reporting in Endodontic Journals: An Observational Study from 2012 to 2017

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Abstract

Introduction:

Reports on randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are of critical importance because readers of research often do not access the full text. This study aimed to assess the reporting quality of RCTs in 2 leading endodontic journals.

Methods:

Issues of 2 endodontic journals, the Journal of Endodontics and the International Journal of Endodontics, dated from 2012 to 2017 were hand searched to identify RCT reports. A 37-item checklist based on the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials statement was used to examine the completeness of RCT reporting.

Results:

One hundred nine RCT reports were included in this study. The majority were published in the Journal of Endodontics (82%). The mean overall reporting quality score was 65.0% (95% confidence interval, 77.3–66.5). Most (80%–100%) RCTs clearly reported the author/contact details, trial design, participant characteristics, number of participants, and recruitment status as well as the study's intervention(s), objective(s), outcome(s), and conclusions. Conversely, only 56 of the 109 articles (51%) satisfactorily reported all 5 items related to the randomization method. Registration of reviews was not reported in any of the included abstracts. Most of the studies included in this analysis did not report their RCT registration (22%), funding (35%), or protocols (23%).

Conclusions:

The results of this study suggest that the reporting quality of RCTs in endodontic journals requires further improvement. Better reporting of RCTs is particularly important for ensuring the reliability of research findings and ultimately promoting the practice of evidence-based dentistry. Optimal RCT reporting should be encouraged, preferably by complying with the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials guidelines.

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